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|Two Rivers Press
21 February 2021
My thanks to the publisher and author for my copy of this poetry collection
Yield is a mother’s story told in poems.
Three definitions of the word Yield give meaning to the odyssey undergone in Claire Dyer’s third collection: a journey which sees a son become a daughter, and a mother a poet for both of them. Charting these transitions, the poems take us through territories known and familiar – landscapes of childhood, family and home – into further regions where inner lives alter, outer ones are reimagined. Whether evoking clinic visits, throwing away old boyhood clothes, grieving over what’s lost, these honest and unashamed poems build to celebrate that place at the heart of motherhood where gender is no differentiator and love the gain.
📖 My Thoughts..
Motherhood is a complex business, from the moment you meet your child, you only ever want what’s best for them. You absorb their hurts and disappointments, revel in their triumphs and walk with them, albeit silently, through every aspect of their lives, giving them space when they need it, curling them into you when the hurts are too great, and being there like a silent shield when they need a protective bubble.
In this eloquent collection of poetry, Claire Dyer has, with great insight, and empathy, charted her myriad thoughts, and at times, quite raw feelings, as her son makes the brave transition to become her daughter. Beautiful and incredibly complex, Yield took me on an emotional journey, sometimes wonderfully expansive, whilst at other times so viscerally raw that the sheer breadth of emotion took me to places I could only ever imagine.
My first read through took me by surprise, not just at the wealth and richness of the language, I've read this author's work before and I know how good a wordsmith she is, but I was astonished at just how quickly the accumulated power of the words consumed me. The comparisons with nature, with animals and with colour, is particularly strong and brought to mind, quite vividly, an emotional first aid box, the kind I used to, once upon a time, encourage the newly bereaved put together in order to help them make sense of a difficult emotional journey.
Yield is a powerful and emotive collection of poetry which can stand several read throughs, in fact, for me, the poems became stronger the more I read into them and I think that's where the strength of this incredibly personal collection lies, in that the more you read, the more you discover. The verses speak on a profound level which is so personal it hurts, and yet there's a beautiful lyricism which will stay with me for a long time, particularly from Yield III, which I share here with kind permission of the publisher:
"I'm looking up to count the fearless stars,
Choosing you once more,
a thousand times again, Yield"
As well as being a successful published poet and novelist, Claire Dyer teaches creative writing and curates Poets’ Café, Reading’s longest-running poetry platform on behalf of The Poetry Society’s Reading Stanza. She is also a regular Radio Reads contributor on BBC Radio Berkshire. Yield is Claire's thord collection of poems.
Twitter @clairedyer1 #Yieldpoetry#LGBTQ